Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

See other formats


LXXXi PERSIA BEFORE THE REVOLUTION  495
a certain number of walled gardens are also a pleasing
and profitable feature. The centre and club of a village
is its bath. This is frequently paid for by the landlord,
or in other cases is subscribed to and built by the villagers,
who pay a fixed amount of grain per family to the bath
man. In the case of small villages, the inhabitants of
three or four subscribe together for a bath.
The village of which I have made a study is owned
by a merchant. It consists of thirty-two domed houses,
built of sun-dried bricks round an enclosed square. It
possesses no mosque, bath, or caravanserai. The site
occupies one acre of ground ; and two walled gardens,
which adjoin the village, and grow fruit trees, vines,
willows, etc., have together an area of i^ acres.
The population is :
Men and youths      .          .          .          .20
Women      .           .          .           .                 15
Children (mainly unfit for agricultural labour)      15
Total     .           .           -So
The following is the live-stock owned by the village
community :
Donkeys     .           .          .           .                 14.
Oxen and cows       .          .           .           .20
Goats and sheep      .          .           .          .150
Fowls         .           .          .           .           .     50
The total cultivated area is 946 acres. Of this, 346
acres receive kanat irrigation, and the remainder is de-
pendent upon rainfall. The quality of^ the soil is good.
There is one kanat only, which is the property of the
owner of the village, who keeps it in a proper state of
repair. Should any work on it be necessary, the villagers
are employed for the purpose and receive a small pay-
ment. Each villager receives water every tenth day for
about six or seven hours.
The land is let to tenants-at-will. The owner has a
representative in the village, whose duty it is to super-
intend the distribution of water, to collect his master's
rent and generally to act as steward of the property.